SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — No innings have been worse for the Springfield Cardinals than the sixth and seventh innings.
It showed again on Tuesday as the Northwest Arkansas Naturals blew out the Cardinals in the series opener 19-4 at Hammons Field.
This season the Cardinals have given up 65 runs in the seventh inning and 46 in the sixth, the two highest tallies.
The Cardinals pitching staff allowed 13 walks, which ties the most in a single-game in franchise history.
The Naturals opened the scoring in the third inning as Bobby Witt Jr. found some grass in shallow center to score Rudy Martin.
Witt Jr. led the Naturals with three RBIs on a 3-5 night at the plate.
With a 2-0 score in the home-half of the third, Delvin Perez singled back up the middle to score Justin Toerner to cut it to 2-1.
The Cardinals pieced together a fielders’ choice and sacrifice fly in the inning to gain a 3-2 lead.
Ivan Herrera then singled in the fifth inning to give the Cardinals a 2-run cushion.
But it all went downhill in the sixth.
Kodi Whitley, who is on a rehab assignment from the St. Louis Cardinals, entered the game in the sixth inning.
He faced six batters recorded only one out on a sacrifice fly while giving up three hits and five runs.
The Naturals added seven more runs in the seventh inning to well put the game to bed.
The two continue the series on Wednesday with a completion of the May 20 game at 5 pm. The regularly scheduled game to follow.